tv BBC World News WHUT April 4, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> getting close to the end game in ivory coast. the final assault on the country's main city, abidjan. forces supporting the internationally backed president say it's time for a rapid offensive to end the four-month conflict. >> hello and welcome to "g.m.t.", bringing you a world of news and opinion. also in this program -- rebels in libya try to make up lost depround while colonel gaddafi appears to seek a diplomatic way out. and as japan gets set to pour tons of radioactive water into the pacific ocean, we'll have the latest on the stricken
nuclear plant. it's midday here in london, 7:00 a.m. in washington, and 11:00 a.m. in ivory coast, where forces loyal to the internationally recognized president-elect, alassane ouattara, are poised for a final assault on the country's commercial capital, abidjan. this west african nation has been in a violent political deadlock for the past four months with president laurent gbagbo refusing to accept defeat in the presidential elections. but events really started to gather pace last week. forces backing alassane ouattara managed to advance in large strides toward the south, gbagbo's stronghold. after taking control of the official capital, they set their sights on the largest city, abidjan. it's now a battleground with the most intense fighting around laurent gbagbo's presidential palace. from his headquarters in the abidjan hotel, alassane ouattara has tried to distance himself from the killings
allegedly committed by forces loyal to him. humphrey hawksley reports. >> they're fighting for the ivory coast's presidential claimant, alassane ouattara. waiting for orders to go to the front lines for the final assault on abidjan. the election was in november last year. the result disputed. the standoff has lasted months. the international community failed to find a compromise, and now the country is pitched for all-out civil war. we'll install ouattara, he says , we will kill them, shouts his colleague. french troops have taken control of the airport for evacuation amid fears that the fighting could become particularly bloody with attacks on foreigners and tribal killings. one massacre has already been uncovered in the town in the west country. red cross volunteers, protected
by u.n. troops, have been searching for bodies amid reports of up to 1,000 may have been killed. hundreds have already been buried. both sides deny that their fighters were responsible. but someone was. and the u.n. tries to teach basic rules. if you take a prisoner, you mustn't kill him, he instructs. hand him over to the killings. the conflict is between two men . the incumbent is a former history professor, laurent gbagbo. he's been in power for 11 years and refuses to let go. the challenger is alassane ouattara, an economist and once a senior executive in the international monetary fund. he's largely recognized as the winner of november's election. the ivory coast is comparatively rich. it's the world's biggest cocoa supplier, the raw material that
makes chocolate. but the wealth has stayed with the elite. its people remain among the poorest in the world. in abidjan, water is cut in many places, power is erratic, and civilians pup up their hands to show they're unarmed just to go out and get basic supplies. >> there are many things we can't get anymore, rice, bananas, vegetables. they're not coming in because of the fighting. >> once known as the jewel of west africa, the city is now braced for a violent showdown for power. humphrey hawksley, bbc news. >> and we hope we're going to bring you more on the situation in ivory coast a little later in the program, bring you all the latest developments for the situation there. but first, let's take a will be at some of the other stories making headlines around the world today. the operator of japan's fukushima nuclear power station has started to dump more than 11,000 tons of radioactive
water into the sea to free up storage space and more contaminated water. a spokesman for tokyo electric power company said the water being released into the pacific is only weakly radioactive. for this, we're scroined by our correspondent there, roland buerk. it sounds quite scary, pouring radioactive water into the pacific ocean. tell us more. >> the government here says there is no risk to human health. what they're doing is essentially trying to clear the area around the nuclear power station of water to enable them to go in and to try to restart the cooling and get the reactors under control again, and to make space for more highly contaminated water. essentially, ever since this crisis began, the way they've been keeping the reacttors from overheating is by spraying them with water. so over the weeks, more than 11,000 tons has built up in pools and puddles around the plant. and that's the water that's now being pumped into the pacific ocean.
at the same time they're doing that, with its low level contaminated water, they're also trying to stop very highly contaminated water getting into the sea. they tried to plug a crack in a concrete maintenance pit by using a mixture of sawdust, newspapers, and cement. but that didn't work. so today they've been using highly contaminated water a milky color and trying to spot the source of the leak, but so far without any source. >> what's been the public reaction to all this news? >> well, many people feel fairly confident in what the government says. and when it tells them there is not a health risk, they believe that. but a few days ago, i was up near the fukushima plant in the area in which people who live very nearby have been evacuated to, and some of them were saying that they just can't believe what they're being told. they described what they're being told by their power company as lies. and those people, of course,
are very concerned whether they'll ever be able to go back to their homes. >> and roland, i mean, it's weeks on. do you feel that they are not really getting on top of this radioactive leak? it's still all very worrying. >> well, certainly it's not going to be a quick job. officials are saying it could take months to get this power station back properly under control. then, of course, scrapping the reactors and clean-up around the area, that's going to take much longer. we're talking years. so the government is saying that the situation is somewhat stabilized, but the end is nowhere near in sight yet. >> roland buerk live from tokyo, thanks very much indeed for that update on efforts to stop that radioactive leak. it's now more than two weeks since the start of international military action in libya, and colonel gaddafi might be looking for a diplomatic route to end the fighting. after first round of discussions in greece, a libyan envoy traveling to turkey and mortar, while on the ground
there's been more ground in the east of the country after losing a lot of ground last week. the rebels are now pushing into the oil town of brega. our correspondent, tim willcox, is there at the local hospital, where both rebel fighters and pro-gaddafi forces have been treated following the fighting in the region. >> we're in the intensive care ward. six beds here out of a total of 320 in the hospital itself. these two beds at the end occupied by local people with fractures, also an elderly man, as you can see, who is injured, but not in the fighting. but just in this far bed over here is a pro-gaddafi fighter who was brought in. he's been quite seriously injured. the surgeon who's been looking after him is this man. when was he brought in and how seriously injured is he? >> yes, he was brought in yesterday afternoon. he's pro-gaddafi forces, was brought in with a very severe injury to his abandon -- with
his abdomen. >> he's had his kidney removed? >> his kidney and his spleen, and he was injured to his lung. to so we opened the chest, stopped the bleeding. >> is he doing well? you don't know who he is, but how many pro-gaddafi fighters have been brought in? >> yeah, we received two. one was two days ago. he was injured. >> and he was going to france. >> that's what he said. he was given about an afternoon . >> but it was all currency?
>> yes, yeah. >> thank you very much indeed. from the 30th of last month to the second of april, the latest figures from the front line of dead and injured, 20 injured, 21 killed. most people come in here before being transferred to benning hasee. >> tim willcox there reporting in libya. now, more news -- barack obama has launched his campaign for re-election in 2012. the president's intentions to seek another term was announced in this video sent to supporters via email and text message. by filing papers with the federal election commission, the president can begin fundraising for the presidential race. the man who ruled kazakhstan for more than 20 years has claimed victory in the latest presidential elections after official figures show he got 95.5% of the vote. international observers said the poll had the same flaws as earlier elections in
kazakhstan. a small sub-surface cracks have been found in three more southwest airlines plane. half its fleet was ground after a tear opened up in one plane mid-flight. the airplane landed safely in arizona on friday. do stay with us for more news here on "bbc world news." at least two suicide bombers have blown themselves up among a crowd of worshipers at a muslim shrine in pakistan. police said more than 40 people were killed and many others injured in the city. thousands of devotees have been marking an annual festival. there's no indication of who carried out the attack. will grant has this report. >> rng are you and grieving. scores of muslims turned out in a show of defiance just hours after the attack on their
shrine. they chanted for an end to the violence. more than 40 people were killed and dozens more wounded when two suicide bombers targeted worshipers at an annual festival. taliban group later claimed responsibility. this was the third such attack on shrines this year. but the local authorities say security at the ceremony was adequate. >> in these day's ceremony, you cannot stop them. the security was very much in place, but it was difficult to handle security when such big crowds are congregated. the wounded have been treated in the city's main hospital, and one of the attackers has been arrested after his bomb failed to detonate. but for many worshipers in pakistan, this is just the latest episode in an all-too-familiar cycle of violence. >> i don't know how it
happened. i was by we my job when suddenly a blast occurred, like a fireball. i thought an electricity transformer had exploded. it burned many people. >> hard-line islammists consider muslimses to be her particulars. as the taliban slip step up their efforts to destabilize, they see followers and other minority religious groups as easy targets. will grant, bbc news. >> you're watching "g.m.t.," and these are our main stories -- forces loyal to ivory coast internationally recognized president alassane ouattara say they are ready for a rapid offensive against the main city, abidjan. let's stay with that story, and to bring us an update on the state of affairs in ivory coast, our correspondent, john james, is there. he traveled to the power base
of alassane ouattara, and he joins us on the line now. john, tell us, it seems as though the ouattara forces feel that the momentum is with them as they make that final assault on abidjan. >> yes, and they've been gathering troops on the outskirts of abidjan. i mean, they arrived on thursday. they need to get targets in the city, briefly taking over the state television center. since then, i think they found it harder going than initially thought, and they got a couple of days where things have been reasonably calm and they've been working out and bringing in forces before you say that sort of promised final push to try to dislodge the fighters who remain loyal to laurent gbagbo. >> talking about those fighters who remain loyal to laurent gbagbo, they must be a dwindling band, just the die-harding who are with him. >> yeah, it will be about 5,000 or so from the republican guard, various other elements
still loyal. in some cases, change sides just to go behind alassane ouattara. so it is a small but committed band of people. at the same time, we have another one armed as well. you've been civilians given weapons in the last week or so, and they're on the streets as well. so the competing picture, but so far, laurent gbagbo's forces have been able to resist, well defended, well defended sights in the city around the presidential palace, and also, they have superior we are you and tanks and rocket launchers as well. >> and john, just briefly, if you would, terrible concern about the alleged atrocities. it would seem that both sides might be committing in terms of civilian casualties. >> yes, and there are atrocities, but in the last week or so, we've had allegations of 800 or 1,000 dead or missing in the far west
, where there's lots of ethnic tension. i think this conflict is opening up an opportunity for people to seek revenge on different ethnic communities, forces themselves, armed with professionals training really and then the atrocities as well. >> john, thanks very much. john james there in the stronghold of alassane ouattara in ivory coast. thanks very much indeed for that update. and let us now catch up with the latest business news, and joining us here in the studio is our correspondent. is b.p. returning to the gulf of mexico? >> astonishing to think after last summer, b.p. was enemy number one, certainly in the united states. however, the bbc has learned that the u.s. authorities are likely to allow b.p. to continue work this summer in the gulf? of course, a year ago, the b.p. oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and causing the worst oil spill in u.s. history.
since then, b.p. has spent more than $40 billion cleaning up the mess and paying out compensation. i asked one stock broker just what he made of b.p.'s potential return to the gulf of mexico. >> it looks like, although it seems to be denied by the authorities, that b. will be granted permission to start extracting oil from wells it already drilled, and it will start applying again for further exploration licenses. >> which means, if given permission, they could start drilling again in the gulf of mexico? >> that's right. it's still a big if. it's still by no means done. but i think b.p. laid out in some detail how it intended to make the -- make its drilling operations safer. it claims that it learned -- it learned its lessons from the well disaster. and therefore, it will -- it should become one of the safest oil companies in the world, and that's what i guess the
regulators are hoping. >> i was just going to ask you that. obviously they have b.p.'s review behalf went wrong last year. have they persuaded the authorities thinking this is one of the safest oil companies in the world? >> well, one would hope so. i would think they learned a lot of letches, also have their partners, halliburton and transocean as well. so the parties involved in that hopefully will be able to convince the regulators that they are safe. >> let's move on, head over to india now, because a parliamentary panel in that country investigating the controversial award of telecom licenses to some of the country's biggest tycoons this week. it's estimated to have cost india nearly $40 pillion o. saturday, india's former telecommunications minister was charged with conspiracy, forgery, and fraud for his role in the rigging of telecom licenses. we have more from mumbai. >> indian industrialist are expected to answer questions
with regard to the second generation phone license scandal, and they may also be asked to touch on the 3g licenses and how they were allocated, services for which are actually being rolled out across the country. an liz are viewing this as a widening of the probe spew what could be one of the india's biggest corruption scams, and it may have cost the government some $40 billion in lost revenues. from 2007, it alleged that telecom companies may have acquired these licenses improperly without proper options. this has plunged the government into crisis, and analysts say it may have injured india's international business reputation. a frau india telecom to an internet giant, google. starting today, it has a new chief executive, larry page takes over the company that he founded. of course, it's been 10 years since mr. page last held that post. back then, he was only 28 years old and just judged too young to run the company.
now he's back and facing a very different challenge. google is by far the biggest player in the internet search engine, if you will, and he's attracting the attention of competition regulators. e.u. watch dogs are investigating whether google is guilty of unfavorable treatment of rival search services. >> what's going on in europe is kind of an indication that there are concerns about the company's market share. there are concerns about the company's ability to influence consumer choice, and there are concerns about google in a broader sense. >> ok, quick look -- no, quick look, it wasn't. quick look at the markets. solid signs of growth around the world, certainly in the world economy, certainly supporting the global markets this monday. we've got expectations of higher eurozone interest rates. that took the you're tree an 11-month high against the japanese yen. let's want kid ourselves. a lot of this coming off the back of what we saw on friday
out of the united states. those really good jobs numbers for the month of march, 216,000 new jobs created in the private sector, and that was certainly good news. >> it was quick, aaron. >> it was. >> go be rescussitated now. so with 25 days to go until the british royal wedding, the buildup isn't just confined to the united kingdom. there's keen interest in america, too. and in new york, the kate middleton effect is being felt in hairstyles and jewelers. there are even plans for a royal wedding street party in downtown manhattan, as laura trevelyan will be finding out. >> in a faxable manhattan hair salon, brooke is the latest customer to be requesting the cut of the moment. >> what's the most important part in what makes kate look so beautiful is really hitting around the cheekbone area, and it really opens up. >> this hairstylist does up to 50 kate middleton cuts a week.
what is it about the bride-to-be that captured the imagination of 20-something young women in new york? >> kate middleton is living a fairy tale. she's going to become a princess, and i think regardless of whether or not america has a royal family, i think that's sort of every girl's dream. >> is it your dream? >> i wouldn't mind it. >> not everyone can do that, but having flowing locks like kate is within reach. >> she is so beautiful, and she makes it seem so effortless to be beautiful, and she's in the eye of everyone right now, and she seems so exolesed. it just feels like a tangible, touchable feel that people can feel for themselves. so it's easy relateable. >> new york is the ultimate aspirational city. the desire to make it is in the d.n.a. here. so the story of kate middleton, an ordinary young woman who's about to become a princess, has
struck a cord with new yorkers. replicas of kate middleton's engagement ring, previously worn by diana, princess of wales, are in demand. it's too much work for this jeweler alone, and another one's been hired. over 1,000 replica rings have been sold in this manhattan safire store since the -- sapphire store since the engagement. >> it's been extraordinary. when the engagement was announced, we had so many phone calls, and then our server that connects the internet to the public crashed. so our people were rushing to get everything up and ready for what was about to happen. >> in greenwich village, plans for a royal wedding party in the park with 800 guests are well underway. a local british-themed tea shop is where it's all being organized. >> this is an edible milled gold leaf. >> this decorator is already working on her vision for the
day. >> we're going to have a great party at jackson square park. going to get everybody involved. and we're just going to celebrate being here in new york and sending our love and best wishes to great britain. >> brooke's pleased with her new look. in the city which celebrates celebrity and upward mobility, there are distinct signs of royal wedding fever. >> i feel like a princess, soon-to-be princess. >> laura trevelyan, bbc news, new york. >> if you're interested in the royal wedding, you'll find much more on our website about the royal wedding on the 29th of the april. you'll find plenty there to keep you busy until then. now, political leaders in northern ireland have met with the chief of police to discuss the merger of a police constable on saturday night. the 25-year-old roman catholic ronan kerr, who's been a policeman for less than a year, was killed by a bomb which exploded under his car.
police believe dissidents were behind the attack. we speak to our correspondent, who's there. chris, there's been a press conference this morning about this murder of this young constable. >> yes, above all else, it was a show of political unity in the violence. the chief constable is a police service in northern ireland, flanked by the union first minister, peter robinson, and the deputy first minister, who was himself a former commander of the provisional i.r.a. he used the strongest words possible to condemn -- possible to condemn those who killed the constable. >> thanks very much indeed for that update from northern ireland. stay with us here on "bbc world news." there's plenty more to come. for the moment for me and the "g.m.t." team, goodbye.
>> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its